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Multitasking: Is It Your Friend or Enemy?

18 Sep

I think, to an extent, it comes down to your personality and what you are trying to multitask…er, with.

If you are juggling a few things at the same time and you can make it work just as well together as apart, then good for you. There are some tasks which seem to go together very well, and it is no real stretch to work on them side by side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE2jy23iG2M

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On the other hand, if you are a focused type, who prefers to concentrate on one thing at a time, you might do better to steer clear of multitasking. The last thing you want to do is burn yourself out by mentally (or physically) running around in circles.

Or…

If you are trying to do something important while also letting yourself be distracted by something trivial, your work will suffer. Either it will take twice as long, or you will end up having to edit the tar out of it at a later date. Not really a desirable outcome.

Say you are trying to get an essay written. You are typing away on this project that is due tomorrow afternoon, when your friend starts texting you about the movie they’re watching. This divides your brain’s energy between two very different things. You’re trying to sound smart in the essay, but using texting short-cuts on your phone. You are also trying to remember your research facts, and pull up memories of the movie they are referring to. The essay will suffer, and your friend will think you’re not interested in the conversation because you take an extra couple minutes to reply.

Not an ideal situation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34OZ-dsNkBw

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That’s not to say that technology is bad for productivity. Word sprints with your Twitter friends look like they could be a lot of fun while helping you reach your word count goal for the day . But here, you agree to do a task, set a time limit, put Twitter aside while working on your writing, then switch back to Twitter after the sprint is finished.

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So, I’m not saying that multitasking is bad for you. I just think that there are times when we need to concentrate on one task at a time so that we can get it done better and faster.

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Now if I could only remember this in every day life. *eye roll*

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What are your thoughts on multitasking?

Do you do a lot of it, or are you a strict one thing at a time worker?

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